10 steps to start fundraising for a cause that can help a loved one

10 steps to start fundraising for a cause that can help a loved one

The idea of fundraising for a cause has been around for decades, but with the new technology innovations and the internet, it has made it more and more possible for individuals to raise funds online. As more and more people turn to medical fundraising for collecting funds for medical treatment, hopes are getting high for these campaigns which have helped many people’s health and well-being. Medical fundraising is getting great for people who need help, as well as people who are seeking to do something meaningful with their money. The great thing about fundraising is that you’ll be helping individuals and families directly and therefore you know where the money is really going towards.

But as popular as crowdfunding gets, there are many causes out there seeking for those funds, and not all fundraisers turn out successful. This article will shed light on some of the best practices and approaches which can help you to be successful in reaching your goal when medical fundraising for your loved one.

Step 1: Do your research

Once you decide to start a fundraiser, before doing anything else, dedicate a day or more on research on the internet for similar causes as yours, and see what all those successful stories have in common. From this you can also contact the people behind the causes to help you by supporting and sharing your fundraiser too. Additionally, you can get an insight on who donates the most for causes similar to yours, which can help you define your target audience. You can also get a sense on how much time they needed to achieve their goal so you can start planning your fundraiser accordingly.

Step 2: Learn as much as possible about the medical condition

Familiarizing yourself with the disease prognosis, its pathology and progression of the disease and available treatment are crucial in order to be able to help and have a successful fundraisers. You will find yourself working intensively on the fundraiser, which will mean that on a daily basis you will have to talk and explain to other family members, friends or the public on what your loved one is going through, and why they need to donate. Many times you will have to speak on treatment details so knowing these details will be necessary. So before you start your fundraiser, make sure you learn as much as you can about the condition.

Step 3: Gather a team and create an activity plan

You can start a fundraising campaign on your own, or you can seek for help from family or friends to make the task easier. Having a team around you can help you with the outreach as well as to the scope of activities, since you can appoint roles to make the load easier to handle. This is useful for individuals who already are the full time carer of the loved one. Delegate tasks such as sending out emails, interacting on social media and managing the fundraising page.

Once you have the team you can draft an action plan together, including detailed day to day activity plan, all until you reach your goal. This can also be useful for evaluation of the results of the activities.

Step 4: Create an online fundraiser

Online pledge page is an excellent way to collect donations from both friends and strangers. Most sites collect donations and will forward them directly to you or your loved one. Still, you need to be cautious when choosing a crowdfunding site for some of them take out a small portion of the donation for administrative and other costs, which can range from 5%-20% of funds raised. New sites launch every day, but those that have been around longer than a few months are more likely to be credible, and to have fewer customer-service issues. PeoplePledge is a great example of one that only charges a small transaction cost on every donation made on your fundraising page, which goes directly to PayPal. therefore the service is completely free to use.

Step 5: Tell a story

Remember you are fundraising for a cause and for a person. The success of crowdfunding often lies in the personal story behind the fundraiser and his or her genuine need. People tend to donate to other people when they can relate to their problem or connect with the individual. Putting a face, name and identity behind what they support is important. Most donors will prefer donating to people directly as appose to a charity organization as they can easily lose sight of the impact their donation has made.

In order to make the story appealing collect as many photos and videos of your loved one and make the pledge page personal. Also, making a detailed list of costs for procedures, medications, for which the money will be used can help, since it gives the impression to the donors that they know on where their money will go.

Step 6: Look for online tips

Search for articles that offer tips on how to write a compelling narrative about why you are asking for money, and why that money is important. You may not be confident in writing but speaking from the heart is what is most important. Sharing your feelings and thoughts can help readers understand what you and your family have been going through.

Step 7: Engage your pledge visitors

Campaigns such as the Movember and the ALS movement made a huge boom and redefined the standards in campaigning. What they both have in common is that they gave their supporters a simple task that they should do, and became viral since everyone posted and reposted about it. If you can think of a simple and creative task for your visitors in order to engage them more, do that, since it can boost your campaign greatly.

Step 8: Become a social media guru

We all know that sharing is caring, and most of the sharing happens on social media. Without good social media presence the odds are small that your fundraiser will be successful. In order to make your fundraiser more visible in social media you can create a Facebook Page or Event by which you will enhance the promotion of your pledge page and reach а broader target audiences.

Step 9: Give frequent updates

The more updates you give to your followers, the more awareness there is out there, and the more successful your fundraiser will be. You should update on any progress made by the campaign or alert your followers if there is none. The sense of urgency can also boost the campaign. Plus, donors want to be updated if their donated money have helped in improving his or her medical condition.

Step 10: Mobilize traditional media

Traditional media can also help you in achieving better results with your fundraiser. Even though social media can be a major part in marketing your fundraiser to family and friends, traditional media can still be very effective in getting your fundraiser out there in the public eye. Good media coverage can help you enormously in mobilizing supporters to join with you in fundraising for a cause and in collecting donations. While writing a press release for media is a relatively easy task, getting them to publish it is not. You can also contact them directly and hope your story in the news space. However it is important to note that many news and media outlets are always looking for these types of ‘human’ stories to share and so your chances of getting into a local newspaper can be high.

By using these 10 steps and following through the whole process, fundraisers can dramatically see a huge difference in the amount of donations and supporters they will have.


1) ‘Crowdfunding’ sites pay medical bills, raise hopes: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/11/crowdfunding-medical-expenses-fundraising/1786039/

2) How to achieve fundraising success on social media: http://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2014/nov/24/how-to-achieve-fundraising-success-on-social-media

3) Movember and Marketing Success: http://www.fitmarketing.com/movember-marketing-success/